ABC's Free Choice Mineral Program


Mineral interrelationships in the animal body are very complex. The best authority on animal nutrition, we believe, is the animal itself, left to its instincts. Advanced Biological Concepts® Management programs are built on this principle.


History of ABC’s Mineral Program

Dr. William Albrecht of the University of Missouri is reputed to have been the first scientist to propose that animals have the ability to choose plants with good mineralization over those with poor nutrition. Albrecht's work was the inspiration for Talbot and Carlson to develop the free choice mineral program.

Tully Talbot of Talbot-Carlson, Inc., and Bill Johnson were pioneers in marketing the individual free choice mineral program. In 1972, Bill Johnson started working for Tully’s company, TCI. In the 1980’s, Bill worked to introduce the self-regulated mineral concept to mega-dairies in California. In 1987, Bill moved back to Iowa, and when Tully Talbot passed away, TCI was dissolved. A few years later, Bill resurrected the individual free choice mineral program and continued to refine the technology under the logo of IDM. Advanced Biological Concepts began manufacturing the minerals for IDM, and when Bill retired, Advanced Biological Concepts purchased IDM. The Free Choice Mineral mixes are still manufactured and sold today at ABC.

Free Choice ABC Mineral Products Have No Flavoring or Limiting Agents Added

The ABC Free Choice Mineral Program is designed to allow the animal to use its natural, instinctive selective ability to satisfy nutrient requirements with specific reference to minerals and vitamins. Contrary to the thoughts of some individuals, selective breeding has not reduced the ability of the animal to select those nutrients necessary for its well-being, any more than selective breeding has reduced the sex drive, or reduced the need of the animal to consume nutrients such as energy or protein. Animals do select needed minerals and vitamins from the ABC Mineral Program in proportion to the palatability (solubility) of the individual compounds used in the formulation of the various ABC mineral products. Advanced Biological Concepts therefore, must use quality products that will be soluble in the mouth of the animal so that the taste bud system, which is triggered by deficiencies of nutrients in the tissue of the animal and more specifically the blood, will recognize the nutrients by its own merits rather than by a flavoring agent which may have been added to the compound. We do not use any flavoring agents to entice the animal to consume the minerals, other than the taste of the mineral itself in soluble form.

The major benefit of ABC’s Free Choice Mineral Program is that it not only allows the animal to satisfy mineral deficiencies of the present ration, but it also allows the animal to consume additional minerals, as necessary, to satisfy tissue deficiencies caused by previously unbalanced rations. This results in the consumption of some of the minerals at times in amounts that are considered by some people to be more than the needs of a given ration. When offering nutrients on a separate and free choice basis, such as with the ABC Free Choice Mineral Program, it must be clearly understood that animals will satisfy total nutrient needs. Consequently, the animal may need to consume additional amounts of the particular mineral in question until its tissue deficiencies are adequately satisfied. At that time the animal will then continue to consume only the amounts of the individual minerals that are necessary to satisfy deficiencies of the present ration, changing its consumption from the Free Choice Mineral Program in proportion to rations with little or no consideration to the previous history of the animal.

Scientific research has proven time and again that various mineral deficiencies within the physiological system of the animal are the ones that in reality prevent the animal from producing and or reproducing to optimum. The ABC Free Choice Mineral Program allows the animal to both satisfy these physiological needs and satisfy deficiencies of the present ration.

Advanced Biological Concepts is very aware of the importance of the interrelationship of the tremendous number of mineral elements. Many feedstuffs contain excesses of some mineral elements that seem to be considered by some to be of no consequence. Nothing could be further from the truth. If we consider simply the Ca:P ratio, then a ration that contains 1% calcium will cause the animal to consume quantities of phosphorus from the ABC Mineral Program in amounts that would be considered by some to be excessive. But if we consider that the animal’s physiological system functions best with a proper ratio, then it becomes logical that the animal will consume amounts of phosphorus necessary to attempt to provide its system with that proper ratio. Genetic selection has created animals with different mineral needs than those currently published in nutrition requirement charts. A self-regulated mineral program provides a more accurate mineral balance to range animals in the multitude of various soil types, climatic conditions, and animal genetics.

Healthy animals are more productive. Even in the present economic circumstances, the ABC Free Choice Mineral Program pays:

  1. By supplying the necessary mineral elements to better balance the ration so that it can be digested more efficiently.
  2. By allowing the animal to be in better physiological condition so that it will be more productive and/or reproductive.
  3. By not forcing unnecessary and unneeded minerals into any animal.
  4. Because as ration quality changes, due to either changing feedstuffs or changing climatic conditions, the animal can adjust its mineral intake to maintain a balanced diet.
  5. By allowing individual animals to selectively satisfy individual needs, which is not possible with a mixed or force-fed mineral program.

The end result is improved health, which allows the animal to better produce to its genetic potential. THE ABC MINERAL PROGRAM PROMOTES IMPROVED HEALTH.

To Learn more, visit the below links.

Video: Why We Feed Minerals to our Animals - And How to Do It Right!

Technical Bulletin: Do Animals Eat Minerals Because They Need Them or Because They Taste Good?

  • Free Choice Minerals

    Our Free Choice Minerals are available for Organic or Grassfed Beef Cattle and Dairy Cattle, Sheep, Goats, and Horses. These minerals are available individually or in kits.
  • Mineral Feeders

    To be healthy, animals need to consume a variety of vitamins and minerals. Our feeders make it easy to feed various minerals.
  • The Mineral World

    Based on research by several investigators, these mineral relationships appear to be well established.
  • A Video Explanation of the Mineral Wheel

    Check out this video explanation of the Mineral Wheel.
  • Bill Johnson (1933 – 2008) - Biography

    Bill Johnson of IDM was a pioneer in marketing the individual Free Choice Mineral Program.